Not many interactions are more annoying to consumers than waiting for a technician to show up. The time slots of availability are too broad—10 a.m. to 4 p.m.?—and field service reps rarely seem to have the right customer information or parts on hand.

Despite these challenges, field service done right can actually be an asset to businesses—the front line to creating superior customer experiences. Since we first launched Field Service Lightning a year ago, our customers have told us, time and again, that field service is no longer an afterthought, but is instead becoming a critical driver for building long-term customer loyalty.

Salesforce is taking field service one step further, making technicians as productive and impactful as possible once they are on site by adding Einstein AI and analytics to Field Service Lightning. These new innovations arm the entire mobile workforce with image recognition technology, smart equipment management and deep analytics to bolster productivity and efficiency. Now, mobile technicians, dispatchers and managers have the intelligence and insights they need to improve first-time fix rates and deliver excellent customer experiences.

Of course, customer expectations are becoming as varied as industries themselves, whether the customer is a telco subscriber, patient, retail shopper or otherwise. When we launched Field Service Lightning, we expected it would disrupt industries that are traditionally associated with field representatives, such as building maintenance or manufacturing. What we have seen are excited customers spanning retail, financial services, and even healthcare using the technology to improve their businesses. Let’s look at how each of the new Field Service Lightning innovations can meet the complex needs of a specific industry:


Einstein Vision for Field Service in Manufacturing

In a recent Salesforce survey, 92% of manufacturing executives agreed that their organizations needed to adapt their service models to keep up with customer needs. By putting the power of image recognition into the hands of field service reps with the help of deep learning, companies can leverage pre-trained image classifiers—or train their own custom classifiers—to handle a vast array of specialized image recognition use cases.

For example, with similar looking parts and serial numbers, dishwasher repairs are often complex and can mean technicians ordering the wrong part for the customer. Now, a dishwasher repair technician who needs to replace a water inlet valve can simply snap a picture of the valve, and Einstein Vision for Field Service will quickly identify the exact product type—saving time for the customer, service rep and company.






Equipment and Inventory Management for Communications & Media Companies

For communications service providers (CSP), improving customer satisfaction is particularly difficult, because their networks are distributed over massive geographical areas. This is reflected in poor consumer perception, as wireless subscribers (37%) and satellite subscribers (39%) report receiving the best experience during their initial sign-up and rarely thereafter. Even more troubling is that 32% of consumers who disconnected their TV service reported doing so because of technical issues, and 23% because of poor customer service.

With the help of scheduling automation, CSPs can ensure the correct work crew, equipment and trucks are always where they should be. For example, a cable company dispatcher is able to use Equipment and Inventory Management to automatically see which technician is closest to the customer and has the six-way cable splitters necessary to get the customer’s cable television setup successfully, before even dispatching the technician—ensuring the job will get done on the first visit.

Field Service Analytics in Healthcare and Life Sciences

Due to changing regulations and patient expectations, it has become critical for healthcare companies to compete on customer satisfaction and cost, in addition to quality of outcomes. Having better visibility into service metrics is key to achieving these goals.

With Field Service Analytics, a medical device company can now integrate all of its data into one easy-to-use application to get a complete view of their business and take insight-fueled actions right from their dashboards. For example, a service manager can quickly see their mobile workforce utilization, first-time-fix rates and technician travel time—enabling them to build an efficient mobile team while cutting down on need for multiple repair visits.

Learn More

It is time for businesses to see field service as something beyond an extension of call center reps in trucks. When done right, field service can transform the customer experience and foster long-term loyalty across industries. Check out these resources to learn more: